A year in the life of a Marbelli (Week 24)

So here we are in Italy, having decided to spend a week away from Marbella exploring the delights of Venice and Lake Garda.

Our first stop was Venice- land of lovers, historical monuments and fine art. The boat ride and trek to the hotel was slightly chaotic having not accounted for the fact that along with lovers, historical monuments and fine art comes tourists, tourists and more tourists! Fighting our way through cameras, selfie sticks and tour guides became quite exhausting.

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Once we arrived at the hotel, we deduced that there was only one option to make our stay more comfortable and so we formulated a plan– patience and a poking stick!

By day two, we had it sussed. A little help from the weather gods, and a quick poke was all that was needed to keep us amused and free of tourists. The thunder and lightening had deterred the day-trippers from the boat crossing so stick to hand, we merrily walked around the streets, toured Doge’s Palace (much to Savannahs annoyance) and took a gondola ride through the canals eating ice cream and listening to the gondolier sing “Just one cornetto” (Oh Sole mio)at our request. We also attempted to join in Sunday mass at the famous Basilica in Saint Marks Square, but Savannah got a fit of the giggles when she witnessed an old woman confessing to an empty confession booth, after the obviously bored priest had snuck out of the booth in front of us, so we had to make a quick exit.

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There is a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ about Venice that is hard to define. It is probably the only place I have visited where the water is filthy, the buildings are falling apart and some areas of the city are really smelly, yet somehow this wonderful place exudes romanticism and charm! ………. Hot tip for lady travellers going to Venice- go to the Restaurant Nuova Perla on the corner of Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, the waiter is drop dead gorgeous! Having left Venice, we are currently staying in a stunning village to the South East of Lake Garda called Lazise.

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The village is built around an old 13th century Venetian castle and with no more than 6000 inhabitants; it is the perfect choice for our last few days. It’s quaint, peaceful and an idyllic lakeside spot; the only negative is listening to Savannah moaning because the waiters aren’t so cute!

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Yesterday, after extensive research on the Internet, I found a stable that does horse trekking to a local winery, so without a moment to waste, I called the number and booked us in. I was so excited this morning at the prospect of doing my two favourite things – riding and wine tasting! But with great disappointment I discovered half way through the trek that we were riding through the winery not to the winery!  I still enjoyed the ride though, especially as I had an appaloosa horse and American saddle, Savannah did give me one of her looks though when the feeling of being in the Wild West got the better of me and I let out a few heehaws!

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Having successfully conquered my horse, I decided that I could conquer the lake too, so this afternoon, we hired a speedboat for a two-hour leisurely boat ride. The first hour or so went well- we sunbathed, saw the beautiful landscape from the water and explored the lake, unfortunately my navigational skills are not as good as my riding skills and I ventured into an area of the lake where the water is shallow and full of big rocks. A big thank you to the wonderful German people who helped us get the boat out of the shallow waters without too much damage other than a dinged prop. Never again will I criticise your efficiency, sunbed hogging or towel choice!

Anyway, bye for now and see you next week when I will be back in Marbella to continue my life as a Marbelli!

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